This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news. It isn’t a big secret that the USA has pathetic parental leave policies in general. Where some countries allow new parents plenty of time to bond with their newborns before returning to work, employees in the USA are giving up their vacation hours in order to help new parents do the very same thing. This behavior is being touted as “trendy” and “generous”, even a money-saving strategy for businesses. I think it’s disgusting… not of the coworkers, who really are generous and lovely for doing this, but for the damn businesses for not offering proper benefits for their employees!
How disrespected would you feel if you work 40+ hours a week at a company and either don’t get enough benefits (or benefits at all) to care for your new child or choose to forgo your vacation time for the benefit of your coworkers? Of course, if it came down to it, I would donate my PTO to a coworker who needed some time to care for their new child, but I would also be extremely bitter that my company wouldn’t offer them those benefits, being a valued member of the team.
We shouldn’t be celebrating the fact that some folks are giving up their vacations to support their coworkers; we should be angry at businesses for not taking care of their employees. If business want happy, productive workers, they need to give something back to them. People deserve to have families if they want to, and that includes letting new parents have time off to bond and care for their children without worrying that their jobs will not be there when they return. People deserve vacations. Work is stressful, and it’s damaging to mental health to be working year-round with no paid time off to unwind. People deserve sick time and healthcare benefits because we need to stay healthy. People deserve retirement funds because nobody should have to work into their 70s just so they can guarantee a hot meal for themselves.
Big thumbs down to corporate America for this one.